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Criminal Justice System and Criminology


Criminology is the study of the behaviour of criminals and crime, informed by numerous sociology principles and non-legal fields such as statistics, psychology, economics, and anthropology. Criminologists examine the following; methods that can be effective in preventing crime, effects crime can have on communities and individuals, reasons why individuals tend to commit crimes and characteristics of those who are victims of crimes. The criminal justice system is the collection of local public, state and federal agencies that mainly deal with crime problems—the process of agencies’ suspects convicted and defendants’ offenders (Rofiq et al.,2019). The components of criminal justice include; legal culture, legal structure, and legal substance. Legal substance mainly includes; formal criminal, criminal law, law and material criminal law. On the other hand, the legal structure entails the prison (verdict implementation), the court (verdict passing or adjudication), and investigation authorities (Rofiq et al.,2019). Legal culture is one of the most important components because it comprises opinions, views, attitudes, and perceptions that affect the law and life in society (Rofiq et al.,2019).

The executive, judicial, and legislative branches provide the basic criminal justice system framework (Criminal Justice, 2015). The federal and state legislature provides funding for all agencies of criminal justice, fixed sentences, and defined crimes. The judiciary, specifically the trial courts, pronounces and makes judgments for the guilty individuals who have been charged with crimes. In contrast, appellate courts are responsible for interpreting the law according to specific principles of the Constitution. Both federal and state appellate courts decide whether they usually fall within established boundaries of the Constitution of the United States, federal law, and also state law.

Additionally, this court is also responsible for reviewing decisions regarding legislation. The courts are given power by judicial review to evaluate the acts of legislative. Executive power is usually given to the mayors, governors, and the president. The most significant components of crime include; corrections, courts, and police-deter or prevent crime by punishing, trying, and apprehending offenders (Criminal Justice, 2015).

Throughout the semester, we have examined several research papers exploring criminalization, state intervention, intersectionality, marginalized experiences, narrative and discourses. Also, we have analyzed how beliefs and stories surrounding criminalization and even disadvantages shape practices and policies. Additionally, we have explored the impact of criminal justice systems and violence and technology. This paper focuses on demonstrating an understanding of two research papers discussed in class and exploring major themes that connect the two papers—identifying differences and commonalities between the papers and expanding our knowledge and understanding of the criminal justice system and criminology.

Themes and concerns in the two articles

Russell, E. K., Carlton, B., & Tyson, D. (2022). ‘It is a gendered issue, 100 per cent’: How tough bail laws entrench gender, racial inequality, and social disadvantage. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 11(3), 107–121.

This article mainly focuses on major themes such as interactions between Domestics and Family violence (DFV), courts and policing, and housing precarity that mainly occur within the strict bail system of Victoria. The authors also examine how these specific interactions create a pipeline to women’s prisons. The study was based on data derived from face-to-face interviews with duty lawyers and criminal defence to explore how the court and police respond to women who have been criminalized. The women’s perception as less “deserving” or “innocent “of protection if already being criminalized, misidentification of police of DFV predominant aggressor, police recorded pursuing other relevant matters after being asked to respond to incidents of DFV, orders of intervention precluding housing women, and the bail denial to all women without any access to housing are the major six ways that were identified by the authors. All of these specific examples illustrate how DFV and housing insecurity victimization can increase the likelihood of women being remanded.

According to Russell et al. (2022), strict bail laws are disproportionately reported to affect many women, especially Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal women, and even entrench their own social exclusion and disadvantage. Women who are on remand show a growing subset of imprisoned and criminalized women. Women on remand have also been imprisoned and criminalized, though sometimes they are not adhering to the required custodial sentence. Recent research that has been done on imprisoned and criminalized women shows that prisons are most likely to exacerbate socio-economic disadvantage, structural racism, unmet health needs, and also patterns of trauma (Eades et al.,2020). Additionally, other studies show that women in prison are frequently perpetrated by their close intimate partners and have high rates of previous victimization. The surveillance and disciplinary regimes carried out in various prisons can extend and replicate prior experiences of women creating a gender violence carceral continuum and abuse.

Russell et al. (2022) state that periods spent on remand are unpredictable and typically short, making it often distressing and highly disruptive, with very limited opportunities for accessing services or programs, including post-release and transition support. Mostly, remanded women run various risks, such as losing their homes and even jobs as well their children can be put into child protection. At most extreme harm’s times in remand can also increase other risks, such as tying in Custody. Remand and bail practices have usually been scrutinized for their disparate effects on Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people as the Black Lives Matter globe surged protests during the year 2020 and even 2021 against the death of Black people in Custody (Russell et al.,2022). The reported number of Aboriginal women who died in 2020 while remanded is two: Veronica Nelson died in early January 2020 at security women’s prison in Victoria after being denied bail on charges of shoplifting, while Aunty Sherry Fisher also died while remanded in Brisbane. These premature and preventable death highlights the object failures and racist silences of the government to implementing 1991 Royal Commission recommendations into the Deaths of Aboriginal people in Custody.

Imprisonment of women tends to reproduce racial injustices and profound gender. Several research studies show that numerous women are punished and pathologized in carceral systems in various gendered ways and that reported ender inequalities overlap and intersect with sexuality-based oppression, disability, class, and race in order to entrap the many marginalized girls and women. However, research done recently describing precise ways that remand and bail procedures are hindering or undermining efforts to lower the number of women that are imprisoned is starting to emerge (Kerr, Anna, and Rita Shackel, 2018). The research done by Russell et al. (2022) speaks of this gap, offering a qualitative empirical account of practices of courts and policing that mostly drive incarceration and criminalization of women through the end-of-system remand processes and via the bill. Australian research that specializes in investigating trends of women who have been imprisoned emphasizes the mental illness, substance abuse, and triumvirate of victimization among all the imprisoned women. Additionally, this Australian research also suggests that DFV legal processes have adverse and united consequences for marginalized women. Therefore, systems for women’s prisons are filled with several women who have reported to have experienced the worst interpersonal, institutional, and structural violence.

Mitchell, M., McCrory, A., Skaburskis, I. and Appleton, B., (2022). Criminalizing gender diversity: Trans and gender diverse people’s experiences with the Victorian Criminal Legal System. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 11(4), 99–112.

This article highlights themes such as the oppression of Trans and gender diverse (TGD) people, limited research on criminalization experiences of TGD people, and key challenges that TGD people have while dealing with the criminal system of Victoria. Mitchell et al. (2022) state that TGD people worldwide report poorer health and mental outcomes compared to cisgender (bisexual, gay, and lesbian) populations. These deficiencies are mostly explained by the discrimination and distress experienced by these TGD people as a result of residing in a social environment which is hostile. For instance, research on TGD Australians demonstrates that inadequate social support is associated with higher depression levels. However, international research has illustrated the act of accepting the environment and how they are socially improving TGD people’s health outcomes. Violence, especially against TGD individuals, is very endemic. TGD individuals mainly experience various forms of violence, such as structural violence, as a result of residing within a certain social world that greatly failed to accommodate them, account for and accept them, rendering the people vulnerable in a wide range of domains, such as housing, labour and health.

Furthermore, TGD people usually experience discrimination and interpersonal violence across several contexts, including healthcare settings, employment settings, home, education settings, public space settings, and restrooms. Also, research done in the United Kingdom shows that these people likely experience sexual assault or harassment, physical violence, and verbal harassment more compared to the general population. Similarly, other research done in the United States shows that TGD people are at higher risk of engaging in sexual behaviour that is risk and sexual victimization. These TGD people mainly experience structural and interpersonal violence in the criminal legal system site. Liberal democracies in Western have criminalized gender behaviour which is nonconforming and sexual behaviours linked to same-sex and have passed strict rules to the people who tend to engage in such practices. One aspect of the systemic violence committed against TGD individuals by criminal justice systems is the disproportionate rate at which they are imprisoned globally (Van Hout et al.,2020). In countries like the United States, around one to six individuals have been imprisoned and incarcerated, and the higher rates still are for transgender women and people of colour. Therefore, higher disproportionate incarnation rates mostly account for TGD people’s experience of discrimination from systematic factors and law enforcement that are likely to encounter criminal legal agencies and render these people vulnerable.

Similarities between the two research papers

Both research papers examine discrimination against transgender women and TGD people, especially people of colour, in Australia and Victoria. Secondly, the papers highlight that these people mainly experience mental and health effects while in prison. Additionally, both articles describe that courts and the criminal justice system are various sites where people, especially TGD people and women, experience structural and interpersonal violence. Also, both two articles describe the oppression of intersectionality and how factors like gender and even race have contributed much to the experiences of people within the criminal justice system.

Differences between the two research papers

The first article mainly focuses on themes such as interactions between Domestics and Family violence (DFV), courts and policing, and housing precarity that mainly occur within the strict bail system of Victoria, while the second article focuses on themes such as oppression of Trans and gender-diverse (TGD) people, limited research on criminalization experiences of TGD people, and key challenges that TGD people have while dealing with the criminal system of Victoria. The first article mentions the death of Aboriginal women in Custody, while the second article does not mention any death that occurred in Custody. The first article describes the experiences of women in prison, whereas the second article highlights the experiences of TGD people, especially in the criminal legal system.


In conclusion, we have learned more about criminology and criminal justice by analyzing the two-research paper we have covered this semester. Firstly, I have learned more about marginalized experiences (women and TGD people’s experiences) and also the effects of intersectionality on their own experiences with criminal justice institutions and law. Additionally, I have learned how criminal justice contributes much to social disadvantage and inequality and affects specific populations, especially women and TGD people. Lastly, the two-research paper has discussed both the experiences of TGD people and women (Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal women) with the criminal legal system of Victoria.


Eades, A., Hackett, M.L., Liu, H., Brown, A., Coffin, J. and Cass, A., 2020. A qualitative study of psychosocial factors impacting Aboriginal women’s management of the chronic disease. International journal for equity in health19, pp.1-8.

Kerr, A. and Shackel, R., 2018. Equality with a vengeance: The over-incarceration of women. Precedent (Sydney, NSW), (147), pp.20-25.

Mitchell, M., McCrory, A., Skaburskis, I. and Appleton, B., 2022. Criminalizing gender diversity: Trans and gender diverse people’s experiences with the Victorian Criminal Legal System. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy11(4), pp.99-112.

Rofiq, A., Disemadi, H.S. and Jaya, N.S.P., 2019, December. Criminal Objectives Integrality in the Indonesian Criminal Justice System. In Al-Risalah: Forum Kajian Hukum dan Sosial Kemasyarakatan (Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 179-190).

Russell, E. K., Carlton, B., & Tyson, D. (2022). ‘It’s a gendered issue, 100 per cent’: How tough bail laws entrench gender and racial inequality and social disadvantage. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy11(3), 107-121.

The Structure of Criminal Justice. (2015).

Van Hout, M.C., Kewley, S. and Hillis, A., 2020. Contemporary transgender health experience and health situation in prisons: A scoping review of extant published literature (2000–2019). International Journal of Transgender Health21(3), pp.258-306.


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